Police Chief Dave Brown contemplates run for Riverside County Sheriff
■ Melissa Diaz Hernandez Editor
“After much thought and deliberation with my family and close colleagues and in prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire from the Hemet Police Department within the next 12 months, most likely by the end of 2017,” began Police Chief Dave Brown’s retirement announcement.
His announcement last week on Facebook came as a surprise to many, especially since he added that he is strongly considering a run for Riverside County Sheriff. “I also intend to assemble an exploratory committee of trusted police professionals, community leaders, and close associates to explore the feasibility of running for the office of Riverside County Sheriff in June 2018,” he said.
Brown was promoted to police chief in August 2011 so he has served as Hemet’s chief for six years. During his tenure, the legislature and state voters passed AB109 and Props 47 and 57. All three have made policing communities more difficult.
Brown advocated for Measure U, a one percent general-fund sales tax passed last fall, announced a “war on crime” in the city, and has worked in conjunction with multiple agencies on Operation Valley Vigilance, all crime-fighting efforts.
Brown also has served as acting city manager for the City of Hemet when City Council voted to fire then-City Manager Wally Hill in March 2015. Brown served as acting city manager until Interim City Manager Gary Thornhill was hired to do the job. Brown fills in for the city’s current city manager, Alex Meyerhoff, when he is away on city business.
“This message comes with only two regrets,” said Brown. “That I did not have the opportunity to have a personal conversation with each one of you before this announcement, and that I will deeply and sincerely miss the privilege of working with the wonderfully committed, passionate and talented men and women of the Hemet Police Department every day,” Brown said.
According to the City of Hemet website, Brown earned a bachelor of arts degree in behavioral sciences from Cal Poly Pomona. He also holds a master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in leadership and organizational studies. Brown also is a graduate of the Sherman Block Leadership Institute, according to the website.
Describing Brown’s career prior to his promotion to chief, the city website states that Brown was “…a field training officer, gang investigator, and crime suppression unit supervisor. He served on the SWAT team as an operator, team leader, and commander. Chief Brown also managed the department’s operations and administrative bureaus as a captain.”
His announcement referenced leaving the department in the capable hands of Deputy Chief Rob Webb, but the city manager and council may want to weigh in on that idea as they look for a new chief.